Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra
Older YA/new adult/sweet romance: College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.
The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.
While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)
This was really cute! There were some moments of infodumping and awkward phrasing but the story was adorable and I want more (good thing I have the other two books on queued up!). I really liked Hannah and all her glory. I thought she was a great MC because we saw her grow as a person, a character, and a goddess all at the same time but she didn’t really realize or acknowledge it throughout. It was nice to see a character unaware of how much they had changed until it really mattered because most people are like that. She felt so realistic and as though I was reading about a friend. I liked the parallel between her story and Kathy’s as well, that was a nice touch.
I would have liked a tiny bit more mythology in this one because I’m not super familiar with the stories behind these gods and what the cultural context is — but neither was Hannah. I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more of the research that Hannah did to find out about her position, power, etc. because I would have liked to know for myself. I hope this is expanded on in the rest of the series.
I really liked the relationships and how they are developing. I am intrigued to see more of the power dynamics between the gods and goddesses in the future, especially with Hannah there to shake things up. I am really excited to read more of this one tbh. It is probably the best money I’ve spent on a book.
If you like cute romance novels with likeable characters plus mythology included, this is the book for you.
Guest review contributed by Books are My Fandom. BAMF is two Bookish Beasties who love reading YA and NA literature, especially fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi and dystopian books. They heart indie & debut authors! They also offer paid Beta reader and Proofreading services.